~~ WARLOCK 101 ~~
by Krevitz, Age 22
INTRODUCTION TO WARLOCKS
The Warlock may not be a glorious class. Nor a respected one. Nor a powerful one. Nor a versatile one. Nor a fun one.
Come expansion time, the Warlock may not even be a class at all!
Many experts speculate that the Warlock will soon be reduced to a simple profession.
(“Should I drop Alchemy for Warlocking? … On second thought, I better stick with Alchemy.”)
Others believe that the Warlock model will soon be shrunk to one-fifth its size, and join mechanical squirrels and mini-diablos in the role of “cute, but useless” pets.
(“Warning! The following actions may cause your fuzzy new Warlock to lag behind and despawn: moving; thinking about moving; watching someone else move; remaining perfectly still and succumbing to the natural rotation of the planet.”)
No matter what Blizzard has in store for the future of Warlocks, one thing is for certain:
Until they introduce “Kurt Cobain” as a playable class, no one—I repeat, NO ONE—will be able to kill themselves quite like a Warlock can.
INTRODUCTION TO THIS GUIDE
As a veteran Warlock in a veteran Guild, I receive whispers on a daily basis from people who have just started playing a Warlock, or are considering rolling one, and are full of questions.
Perhaps the most common question I hear is this: “Can I get a summon?”
Followed closely by: “Why haven’t you summoned me yet?”
And, in a not-so-distant third: “Oh, so now you put up an AFK tag? The least you can do is lie to me and tell me you’re out of shards, or there’s no one around to click the portal. But no, you have to flat out ignore me. You know what’s wrong with people like you? You probably go around Org all day begging mages to summon you water, and hot troll females to give you e-spankings with those big dirty hands, but the second someone needs something from you, you’re too busy to even respond. You know what? I don’t even want a summon anymore. I just want an answer. I just want you to tell me straight-up: ‘No, I can’t give you a summon.’ I’m waiting. Waiting. Waiting. Yup. Just as I thought. And you people wonder why everyone hates Warlocks.”
Not everyone hates Warlocks. That’s like saying “everyone hates pedophiles.” If this were truly the case, then there wouldn’t be any pedophiles to begin with!
And yet, if you ever type “/who warlock,” you’ll get a list of 49 people, mostly pedophiles, who don’t hate Warlocks.
This guide is intended for those people who not only don’t hate Warlocks, but are interested in bringing their skills to a whole new level.
TALENTS AND THE IDEAL SPEC
A good Warlock is prepared for any situation.
If a boss is low on health, and burst damage is needed, you’d better be ready to Immolate and Conflagrate.
If the warrior in your group dies, and you need to take over tanking for that last 5%, you’d better be ready to insta-summon a Voidwalker and pop on Soul Link.
If a boss fight is turning into a marathon and you run out of mana, you’d better be ready to Dark Pact all of your pet’s mana so you can continue nuking without wasting your healer’s mana by Life Tapping.
Now, I know what you’re thinking: “But, Krevitz! With a limited number of talent points, how can you spec for Conflagrate, Soul Link, and Dark Pact?!”
Obviously, you cannot.
With a single Warlock, that is.
A good Warlock owns three copies of WoW, with three level 60 Warlocks on the same server, either all Horde, or all Alliance.
Each of your Warlocks must be specced differently than the other two. I’d suggest appending numbers to their names so that people don’t feel like you’re deceiving them. For example, I have “Krevitz,” (affliction spec), “KrevitzTwo” (demonology spec), and “KrevitzFour” (destruction spec).
You’re probably wondering what happened to KrevitzThree. Let’s just say it didn’t work out.
EQUIPING YOUR WARLOCK
Perhaps the most exciting thing about role-playing games is customizing your character through the equipment you accumulate on your travels.
Not only does better equipment bring you better stats, it also brings you the pride of knowing that you’re a better human being in real life than that other Warlock who is still wearing all greens.
The most important thing to remember when choosing how to equip your Warlock is that you never know what the future might hold. In the next patch, Warlocks might suddenly be able to wield two-handed swords, and then you’ll live the rest of your life in regret from having passed on that Runeblade of Baron Rivendare when it dropped weeks before.
Therefore, the general rule of thumb when instancing is to declare “need” on everything that drops, whether or not it appears to be an upgrade, or if you can even currently equip it.
Some players might not agree with your philosophy on this matter, and choose not to group with you in the future. When this happens, you need to (a) submit a ticket to a GM claiming that you’re being harassed and stalked by another player, and would like your name changed, (b) have someone you know and trust report your name as a violation, and have the GMs forcibly change it for you, or (c) claim that you just bought this account off e-bay, and are in no way connected with the previous player.
A WARLOCK AND HIS PET
Having your own personal demon at your disposal opens up a whole new world of opportunity.
A good Warlock always roleplays excessively with his pet, carrying everything way further than it should be carried, and thus scaring the hell out of the other members of his group.
Perhaps the most powerful feature of a Warlock's pet is its innate ability to "save" debuffs.
For example, if Mother Smolderweb in Lower Blackrock Spire casts Mother's Milk on your Voidwalker, you can immediately dismiss it in order to preserve the debuff for future use.
That way, the next time you summon your Voidwalker in a group, it'll still have the Mother's Milk debuff, and be able to pick up right where it left off, periodically casting immobilizing nets on the other members of your party.
This is perfect for raids, and even more perfect if you're in the main tank's group, and yet even more perfect if you summon your Voidwalker with Mother's Milk in the middle of a boss fight in which the main tank needs to move, such as Phase 2 Nefarion following a Rogue Yell. Surprise!
There are a ton of debuffs in the game that are worth saving, and it's up to you to experiment.
BEING A PLEASANT AND EFFECTIVE MEMBER OF YOUR PARTY
One of the biggest complaints that people have about Warlocks is their attitude.
For example, if you and two party members are waiting at the entrance of an instance, but the rest of your party is in Silithius, what should you do?
An average Warlock will sit there complaining about how lazy and stupid the other members are, or how much time he has to waste farming soulshards for their stupid lazy faces.
A fair percentage of these warlocks will eventually go on to shoot up their school or place of employment.
A good Warlock, however, will offer to summon the other members before they even have to ask.
He will first cast Unending Breath on himself and the other members who are present, and then swim to the bottom of a large body of water, or so far into the ocean that you begin dying of fatigue, at which point he will summon the other members of the party who were unable to make it to the instance by themselves.
Before they can fully load, those other members will, of course, die.
If the situation is reversed, and the party members are requesting a summon TO Silithius, than a good Warlock will clear his way to the end of one of the elite Hives, wait for respawns, and then summon the party members, and Hearth.
Another issue regards Healthstones.
Once again, the biggest difference between average Warlocks and good Warlocks is the matter of taking initiative.
A good Warlock equips his entire group or raid with Healthstones before they even begin the first pull.
The beautiful thing about Healthstones is that, no matter what rank Healthstone you summon (Major, Greater, Normal, Lesser, Minor), they all look the same! Your main tank won’t even realize you traded him a Minor Healthstone until he’s about to die and, in desperation, clicks it, only to receive 100 health.
Soulstones are a different matter altogether.
Since, according to "Epic Joe's Guide to Grouping?", you can only use one every few hours, you’ll always want to use it on yourself. That way when your group wipes and you decide they suck, which they probably do, you can easily ress and Hearth with no delay.
Another option is to offer to sell the use of your Soulstone to people in other groups waiting outside the instance. This is a quick and easy way to make money, and, as with Healthstones, you can use any rank on them and they’ll probably never realize it.
GUIDE TO 5-MAN INSTANCES
To be a successful party member, you must, as a Warlock, understand your role in a group.
No matter what anyone tells you, your role as a Warlock includes all of the following:
-- Main tank
-- Off tank
-- Main assist
-- Ninja looter
Really the only spell you’ll ever need as a Warlock in a 5-man instance is Howl of Terror.
I’d strongly suggest filling every slot on every action bar with Howl of Terror, and binding every key on your keyboard and mouse to this spell.
If you get bored with using only one spell, then keep in mind this other rule of thumb: When in doubt, dot everything.
Note: While instancing, it's important that you understand what the other members of your party mean to you. While it may seem like they are your allies, grouped together with you for one mutual purpose, in reality, such is not the case. They are all greedy lootwhores, using you for their own selfish purposes. It is up to you to treat them as such.
GUIDE TO END GAME 40-MAN RAIDS
The more people in a group, the harder it becomes for one single person to take the blame for a wipe.
This can only work to your advantage.
Although the potential is limitless, the following are a few pointers to keep in mind:
1) When summoning in MC, it's suggested that you stand at the very edge of the lava, so that the portal opens up above the lava, but is still clickable from the ground. The lava wall behind Golemagg, and the lava mound at Major Domo, also work effectively. Another option is to remain out of combat during the Baron Geddon fight, and attempt to summon the person so that they appear directly next to him when he begins his AE.
2) Whatever your pet aggros will chain to you when it dies. Combine this with the fact that your phased imp pet won’t aggro anything until you have it attack, and you can pull monsters from very far away, even when there are tons of monsters in between!
3) Some mobs and bosses have abilities similar to a Warlock’s own, such as Rain of Fire. If members of your raid are accustomed to moving out of the way when they see the Rain of Fire animation, it will be beneficial to give them additional practice by sporadically casting your own Rain of Fire on large groups of healers.
4) If you think for even a second that your group is in risk of wiping, immediately move out of range of your healers and begin Hellfiring yourself to death. You will not receive a durability loss for your death, and yet, should your group manage to survive and beat the boss, you’ll still be able to loot once you’re ressed. This is what we like to call in the business "a win-win situation."
GUIDE TO PvP
For most classes, "PvP" implies combat between members of opposing factions. However, for Warlocks, such is not the case. A good Warlock is friend to no one, and enemy to all.
Warlocks can only effectively engage in player-vs-player combat once every 60 minutes. This coincides exactly with the cooldown timer on the Inferno Summon and Ritual of Doom spells.
The best PvP grounds for Warlocks are areas that are highly populated, low-leveled, and 100% the same faction as yourself. For Horde, Crossroads in the Barrens is an ideal spot. It is suggested that you visit these areas at peak times in the day for the most efficient PvP action available.
A good PvP session always begins by gathering all the lowbies in the area to one centralized location. There are a few tactics you can employ to accomplish this, such as announcing over the general channel that you are giving away free gold or items, or, so that you don't have a bunch of people messaging you and opening up trade windows, announcing over the general channel that some dude next to you is giving away free gold or items.
Once you have lured a satisfactory number of lowbies into your trap, you will want to invite four of them to your group to "help you summon a friend." You may need to offer them some sort of compensation for their services. Like two tickets to a laser light show hosted by Howie Long.
Before continuing, make sure that there are no players above the level of, say, 55 in the general area.
Once you're satisfied that it's just you and the lowbies, it's time to begin the PvP session.
Step 1: Soulstone yourself.
Step 2: Perform the Inferno Summon spell.
Step 3: Perform the Ritual of Doom spell, having the four members of your party click the thingy that appears.
Step 4: If you are the one to be sacrificed by the spell, immediately ress. Otherwise, immediately summon a Voidwalker or other pet, so that the Infernal brakes free along with the Doomguard.
Step 5: Get Aggro on both the Doomguard and the Infernal by casting a dot or two on each of them.
Step 6: Run back and forth all over the place, yelling "HELP ME!" and "KILL IT!" and "OH GOD THE OPPOSITE FACTION IS ATTACKING!" Likewise, make such announcements over general chat, so that nearby lowbies who didn't fall for your first trap come running in response to this one.
Step 7: Continue to do low-to-moderate damage to both the Infernal and Doomguard so that all the nearby lowbies gather confidence that they are actually capable of killing the mobs, thereby causing even more lowbies to join in. In reality, you are the only one doing damage. You just want as many lowbies as possible on the mob's hate list.
Step 8: After a minute or two, allow the Doomguard and Infernal to kill you.
Step 9: Watch as the Doomguard and Infernal wreak havoc on all the players who foolishly tried to help you.
My record is over 40 people killed in one PvP session. See if you can tie or break that record!
PvP INSIDE INSTANCES
Normally, as a Warlock, I would never condone working cooperatively with anyone else for any reason. Period.
However, there arises certain occasions when such cooperation is necessary.
An example of such an occasion is when you are inside an instance with at least one other Warlock, and your party is fighting a mob that mind controls.
All Warlocks in your group or raid should be prepared to simultaneously cast Curse of Doom on any other member of the group who happens to become mind controlled.
You would think that a mage or druid would de-curse the person with multiple Curse of Dooms stacked upon them, thus saving them from certain death. And yet...
ONE FINAL NOTE ON SUMMONING
So many Warlocks get so caught up over this whole issue of whether or not it's their duty to summon people that they never realize the true potential of the spell.
Have a little fun.
For example, the next time someone asks you for a summon, instead of inviting two people to help click the portal, invite 30 people. Each person who joins will just assume that the people already in the group have been there the whole time.
Why even wait until someone asks you for a summon?
Just arbitrarily invite 30 random people to your group, target yourself, and begin the Ritual of Summoning.
Once the ritual is complete, move ten or so steps to your left, and then accept your own summon so that you teleport right back to where you were just standing.
Thank the thirty other people and disband from the group.
They'll never know what hit 'em.