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Tamarantha

Joined: Sun Aug 30, 2009 7:07 pm
Posts: 93
 Post subject: Demonology in Cata
PostPosted: Thu Sep 30, 2010 5:59 pm 
(10/14: corrected wrong hit cap. Took out Searing Pain stuff since it was nerfed. Haste > Int now.)
(10/12: Edited incorrect Mastery assumptions. Took into account EJ info and changed some glyph choices.)
(10/11: Changed SB glyph for Fear, updated broken links.)
(10/6: edited for build 13156. No changes.)

This is a preliminary guide to speccing and glyphing Demonology in Cataclysm.

I. Class Changes

Let me first say that I am not sure what the relative value of stats is going to be in Cataclysm. As it stands now, Warlocks don't really care for Intellect all that much, and the most valuable "core stat" is Spirit. However, Spirit is now going to be sort of an mp5-y stat, while Intellect will affect spellpower.

A stat ranking, according to Elitist Jerks is: Hit (until 446) > Haste > Int > Spell Power (if you can get it!) > Mastery > Crit. Ideally we'll reforge everything into Hit, assuming we can't get capped through gear, then reforge more things into Haste as much as possible. Mastery is fun but unfortunately at level 80 there is no way to get it except through reforging. At high levels of Mastery (i.e., level 85), life may be very very different.

A few exciting changes to be aware of: The Doomguard and Infernal pets are no longer summoned pets, but "guardians", similar to a shaman's spirit wolves or a DK's gargoyle. This means that you will be able to have a summoned pet out AND a Doomguard or Infernal at the same time (or possibly more than one! More on that later). The Doomguard is meant to be a melee single-target DPSer, while the Infernal is more of an AoEer. Both summons are instant cast, do not require reagents, and the Doomguard summon no longer requires helpers. Preliminary reports suggest that the Infernal is better DPS than the Doomguard in a single-target situation. Not sure why yet.

Shards are a resource, not an item! You have 3, and can use them to empower certain spells. You can recharge them out of combat easily, and not so easily in combat. Yay for freeing up a bag slot!

Pretty much all spells have a 40 yard range! No more silly range talents.

Spellstones and Firestones are gone. :(

Soul Link is trainable by ALL specs!

Life Tap now takes 15% of your total health, and converts 125% of that into mana. Life Tap hurts us WAY more, so we'll have to be a bit more careful about using it. But only a bit.

The DPS curses are now called Bane of Agony and Bane of Doom. Bane of Doom now deals damage every 15 sec, rather than once at the end of 60 sec, and each tick has a 25% chance to summon a demon, currently an Ebon Imp. You can have one Bane AND one Curse up on an enemy at a time, so Demonologists will be casting Bane of Doom and Curse of Elements or Curse of Weakness, in all likelihood.

II. Gear

We don't know a whole lot about Warlock itemization. However, the T11 sets have been released, so I'm going to try to draw some conclusions from the stats we see on that gear:
Shadowflame Handwraps
Shadowflame Hood
Shadowflame Leggings
Shadowflame Robe
Shadowflame Mantle

All together, this set provides the following stats (including socket bonuses, but not including gems or enchants):
1389 Intellect
2296 Stamina
397 Crit rating
793 Haste rating
387 Mastery rating
337 Hit rating

Stamina is not a DPS stat, and hit will remain valuable up until the hit cap, whatever that may be for the particular raid tier you're doing. It looks as though haste will continue to be very valuable, with mastery and crit as secondary stats. I don't know whether this analysis is at all warranted, to be honest. I'll leave this section very sparse for the time being until I know a bit more about the subject.

III. Talents

The talent trees are actually really full. When putting 31 points into the Demonology tree, consider that the entire tree contains only 37 points. You'll be taking nearly everything in this tree. I'll go tier-by-tier and give my analysis of each talent, then ending with the build that I'm planning on using.

    Tier 1
  • Demonic Embrace- Increases stamina by 4/8/12%. This makes you more survivable, makes your pets more survivable, and since Life Tap now costs 15% of your total health rather than a fixed value, makes your Life Tap more potent. This should be a minor DPS boost, since less Life Tapping means more DPSing.
  • Dark Arts Reduces cast time of Imp's Firebolt by .25/.5 sec, increases the damage done by Felguard's Legion Strike by 5/10%, and increases the damage done by Felhunter's Shadow Bite by 5/10%. Notably absent is the Succubus, but I'm not sure why that would be. The stated design intention for Demonology is to make all pets do comparable DPS, so you can be more utiliarian in your pet choice rather than always choosing the Felguard. Regardless, your pets should be doing a large portion of your damage, and that damage is increased with every point of Mastery you get. More pet damage = win. I'd recommend maxing this out.
  • Fel Synergy You have a 50/100% chance to heal your pet for 15% of the spell damage you deal. Pet heals is all well and good, but they're going to be receiving heals in a raid situation anyway. I'd say this talent is pretty optional for raiding, although possibly quite helpful for questing.

    Tier 2
  • Demonic Rebirth When your pet dies, your next summoning cast time is reduced by 50/100%. You have 10 seconds to bring the pet out and can only do this once every 2 minutes. This is very similar to the Fel Domination/Master Summoner combo that we currently have. Ideally your pet won't die, but if it does, it's nice to be able to bring it out fast. (Normal cast time for pets is 6 seconds instead of 10.) From a DPS standpoint, if your pet doesn't die, this talent adds no DPS. If it does, this adds a LOT of dps.
  • Mana Feed When your pet crits with its basic attack, you gain 2/4% of total mana. Also, your Life Tap also gives your pet mana equal to 30/60% of the mana you gain. This is an awesome regen talent. The first effect ensures that you will have to Life Tap a lot less. The second ensures that your pet will never run out of mana. In a raid environment, I doubt pets will be running out of mana anyway, but it will be very helpful while questing. This talent is probably optional, but good.
  • Demonic Aegis Essentially adds a 5/10% healing received buff while Demon Armor is on, and improves the health regen of Fel Armor by 100%. FYI, Fel Armor now provides a flat Spell Power increase, and no longer scales with Spirit. This no longer increases your spell power, so this is a pure survivability talent. If you're min/maxing for DPS, this is probably one to skip.
  • Master Summoner Reduces the cast time of all your pets by .5/1 sec, and reduces the mana cost by 50/100%. Two points in this makes your pets come out in 5 sec for free! The cast time reduction stacks with Demonic Rebirth so two points in this makes it possible to get away with one point in Demonic Rebirth. Again, this is more of a quality of life talent than a DPS one, unless your pet dies and you don't have two points in Demonic Rebirth.

    Tier 3
  • Impending Doom Makes your Bane of Doom 10/20/30% more likely to summon a demon when it does damage. Also, your Shadow Bolt, Hand of Gul'dan, and Incinerate spells have a 15% chance to reduce the cooldown of your Demon Form by 15 sec. OMG THIS IS THE MOST AMAZING TALENT EVER. Maxed out, you have a 55% chance for a Bane of Doom tick to summon an Ebon Imp. Not entirely sure how long they last, but I have seen suggestions that it is around 15 sec. This means that you will get AT LEAST one Ebon Imp per Bane of Doom cast 96% of the time.

    But that's not all! Demon Form is the signature ability of the Demonology tree. It is a 20% damage increase, lasting for 30 seconds on a 3 minute cooldown. You will be casting Shadow Bolt and Incinerate a LOT, and Hand of Gul'dan should be being cast on cooldown. I'd be surprised if the cooldown on Demon Form lasted much longer than a minute with this talent maxed out. Preliminary reports suggest that you will be in your Demon Form about 45% of the time with this talent! REQUIRED.
  • Demonic Empowerment This is a 1 minute cooldown that has a special effect depending on the demon you have up. The Imp gets healed 30%, the blueberry gets a +20% max health and threat increase (it's a tanking cooldown!), the Succubus Vanishes, the Felhunter dispels all magic effects on him, and the Felguard becomes immune to stuns, roots, and snares for 15. None of these effects improves your DPS, but do improve your utility. I'd recommend skipping this one unless there's a particular effect you're going for (like having your VW tank quest content).
  • Health Funnel Better health funnel, and makes your demon take less damage while it's being funneled. Not all that exciting unless they make it so demons need a lot more attention than they currently do. But good for VW tanking, I guess.

    Tier 4
  • Molten Core Recently changed, you have a 2/4/6% chance to gain the Molten Core effect when your Immolate deals damage. The Molten Core effect empowers your next 3 Incinerate spells cast within 15 sec, increasing damage done by 6% and reduces cast time by 10/20/30%. Note that this no longer affects Soul Fire, and procs from Immolate rather than Corruption. Your main nuke is going to be Shadowbolt, followed by 3 Incinerates when this buff procs, and Soul Fire below 25%. Incinerate currently has a 2.5 second cast time without haste, which will be reduced to a 1.75 second cast time when this buff is up. Molten Core is currently an integral part of the Demonology rotation, and it doesn't look like this will change come Cataclysm. Required.
  • Hand of Gul'dan New ability! Shiny! This ability appears to do minimal damage, but creates a small AoE zone around your target. Anyone within the AoE has a +10% chance to be crit by your demons. This lasts 15 seconds and has a 12 second cooldown, so it would appear that this spell is designed to have 100% uptime. It also appears to be amazing. Required.
  • Aura of Foreboding This ability buffs your Hand of Gul'dan, making it so that anyone in the AoE when you cast is rooted for 2/3 seconds, then stunned for 2/3 seconds if they are still in the AoE after 6 sec. This seems to have excellent utility in PVP and in AoE heavy fights, but I still expect most (all?) heroic and raid bosses to be immune to stuns and roots. I skip this talent in my build, but it is the first talent that I felt bad about skipping. It looks fun.

    Tier 5
  • Ancient Grimoire Makes your Infernals and Doomguards last 10/20 sec longer, for a total duration of 65 sec. Those pets are on a 10 minute cooldown, but should be used on most boss fights, I'd imagine. This is a DPS increase, to be sure, but I am not certain how much. I take this talent for the time being.
  • Inferno Increases the radius of Hellfire by 10 yards (to 25 yards), and you can cast it while moving. WHEEEEEEEE! This talent sounds like SO much fun. A 25 yard radius AoE effect is enormous, and what else are you gonna do when you're moving and are out of instant casts? Oh, and Hellfire doesn't hurt yourself anymore. I don't know how much they've buffed Hellfire damage (it is currently rather low), so this may not be a huge DPS increase, but it is a whole lot of fun and is required for a great talent in the next tier, so I'm gonna call this one required.
  • Decimation The Demonology warlock's execute. When your target is below 25% health (down from 35%, booo), your Incinerate, Shadow Bolt, or Soul Fire spells cause your next Soul Fire to cast 20/40% faster (so a 2.4 sec cast instead of 4 sec). Signature talent of Demo, and is required. Soul Fire no longer casts a shard, so don't worry about that.

    Tier 6
  • Cremation This is the talent that requires Inferno. This adds 30% to the damage of Hellfire, AND Hand of Gul'dan has a 50/100% chance to refresh the duration of Immolate on your target. This is the Demonology lock's Everlasting Affliction, and it means that you only need to cast Immolate once per fight. Less casting of Immolate = more time casting nukes. A big DPS increase, even without the Hellfire part, and is required.
  • Demonic Pact Your spell power is increased by 2% and the party or raid's spell power is increased by 10% while you have a demon up (so your own spell power is increased by a total of 12%). This is an amazing raid buff in WoTLK, and it still looks like an amazing raid buff in Cataclysm. Required.

    Tier 7
  • Metamorphosis WHEEEE DEMON FORM! This is your signature move. You turn into a badass demon, your damage is increased by 20% (increased by Mastery) and you get a few new spells, including DEMON LEAP (a clone of Heroic Leap, so fun) and a powerful AoE called Immolation Aura. This lasts 30 seconds and should be used as often as possible. 3 minute cooldown, but see Impending Doom in Tier 3. REQUIRED, ARE YOU SERIOUSLY WONDERING ABOUT THIS?



Ok, that having been said, here's the build I'm planning on using at level 80. 31 points takes you up to level 69, which gives you 5 more points to get to level 80. I'll discuss my non-Demonology talent choices in a moment.
http://wowtal.com/#k=-A4D5P6.a5o.warlock.qFXNTb

You'll notice that I took quite a few talents that I called skippable in this build. The reason? I had to! The trees are so full, that you have to take non-DPS talents to fill them out, which I think is more fun - you take the core DPS talents and then fill up the tree with the "skippable" talents that you find most interesting. It's a large difference from the WotLK model, and I personally like it.

Shadow and Flame in Destruction improves two of your three primary nukes, and applies a 5% crit chance debuff to the boss. (also applied by Mages through Scorch/Winter's Chill. Improved Immolate is better than Doom and Gloom, at least for the time being.

Here is the build I'd like to use at level 85:
http://wowtal.com/#k=yewicao.a5o.warlock.qt5bTb

The destruction talents I've taken make it so that Soul Fire during Decimation has a 1.8 second cast time, and Incinerate has a 2.25 second cast time normally, and a 1.58 sec cast time during Molten Core. I don't claim this build is ideal by any stretch, and Blizzard has made it so that you should be able to build a pretty good spec without having to resort to guides like that. Have fun!


IV. Glyphs

The changes in the glyph system are pretty extensive. You now have Prime, Major, and Minor glyphs, and can have 3 of each (one of each at 25, 2 of each at 50, 3 of each at 75). Prime Glyphs are the big DPS increases but are largely uninteresting, Major glyphs are either more situational or more quality of life type issues, and Minor Glyphs are small, non dps, cosmetic things.

Rather than having to relearn glyphs every time, once you learn a glyph, you can put it into your active spec at any time. This seems like it robs inscriptionists of their ability to make money, but here's the catch - to remove a glyph from your active spec, you'll have to use a kind of erasing powder that only scribes make. So you'll probably learn every glyph at first, then keep a stack of powder handy to make changes on the fly.

I'm not going to go over every warlock glyph, rather I will only focus on the ones that would possibly be useful to Demonology:

    Prime Glyphs
  • Bane of Agony Increases the duration of Agony by 4 sec. Except you'll be using Bane of Doom. No.
  • Corruption Identical to the current version: Corruption ticks have a 4% chance to make your next Shadow Bolt an instant cast. Not terrible, but there are better choices.
  • Felguard Increases damage done by Legion Strike by 5%. Legion Strike is essentially a clone of Mortal Strike and is your Felguard's basic attack. Probably a strong choice, although Incinerate appears to be better DPS at this time. I imagine this will become superior at high levels of Mastery.
  • Immolate Increases the periodic damage of Immolate by 10%. Immolate is one of your primary DoTs and should have 100% uptime. I'd like to see some numbers on this but this should be very very strong.
  • Imp 20% more damage from Firebolt. A great talent, but you probably will not be using your imp that much. A good choice to swap into if you're using your Imp on a particular fight.
  • Incinerate Increases damage done by Incinerate by 5%. You'll only use Incinerate during Molten Core procs, but that is fairly frequent.
  • Lash of Pain Increases damage done by Lash of Pain by 25%. The Succubus is going to be more useful to Affliction, but if you find yourself using her, feel free to swap this glyph in.
  • Metamorphosis Increases duration of Metamorphosis by 6 sec. This does two things: you get 6 seconds more of +20% damage (increased by Mastery), and you get to cast Immolation Aura twice! This is an excellent glyph; the only reason it wouldn't be useful is if Impending Doom dropped the cooldown of Metamorphosis to below 30 sec, which seems unlikely.

Tam's recommendations: Metamorphosis, Immolate, Incinerate (swapping out for Imp as needed)

    Major Glyphs
  • Death Coil An extra half second of running in horror. Mostly useful in PvP.
  • Demonic Circle You can teleport every 26 seconds instead of every 30. Weak.
  • Fear Fear has a 5 sec cooldown, but enemies just tremble in place instead of running around. Makes Fear a much more controllable form of CC. Not really a DPS increase, but may help on trash.
  • Felhunter Your Felhunter's Devour Magic heals you along with the Felhunter. Mostly useful in PvP (and even then, it's more for Affliction).
  • Healthstone Your cookies are 30% tastier to you. Not spectacular, not terrible.
  • Howl of Terror Reduce the cooldown of Howl of Terror by 8 sec (so 32 sec instead of 40). Seems PvP-y.
  • Life Tap Reduce the global cooldown of Life Tap by .5 sec. This is sooo much worse than the previous Life Tap glyph, but is probably a marginal DPS increase until you get extreme values of haste.
  • Seduction Seduction removes all DoTs from the target. GREAT PvP glyph, mostly useless in PvE.
  • Shadowbolt Reduces the mana cost of Shadowbolt by 15%. This was weak in this expansion, it's still weak, however, it is a marginal DPS increase, which is more than can be said for some of these glyphs. Becomes even more marginal when you consider the mana regen part of Mana Feed.
  • Soul Link Soul Link transfers 25% damage instead of 20%. This is a great survivability buff.
  • Soulstone You rez with a soulstone with 300% more health than normal. Great when soloing; in dungeons you'll probably not be using SS on yourself.
  • Voidwalker Blueberry gets 20% more Stamina! Helps the VW be a better tank, in situations where it's useful.

Tam's recommendations: Life Tap, Fear, Soul Link (but really, choose any three that look fun to you).

    Minor Glyphs
  • Enslave Demon You enslave demons 50% faster! Hooray!
  • Eye of Kilrogg Your eyeball moves 50% faster and can fly!
  • Health Funnel Health Funnel channeling can't be pushed back by damage!
  • Ritual of Souls Making a pile of cookies costs 70% less mana!
  • Unending Breath Unending Breath also provides a 20% swim speed buff to the target!

Tam's recommendations: Any three. Really. I'll probably use Eye of Kilrogg, Unending Breath, and ...I dunno. Health Funnel, maybe. Or just leave it empty.

So that's my analysis. I'll update as soon as new info becomes available. Patch day is 10/12.

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Tamarantha

Joined: Sun Aug 30, 2009 7:07 pm
Posts: 93
 Post subject: Re: Demonology in Cata
PostPosted: Tue Oct 12, 2010 12:14 pm 
Elitist Jerks has some information that suggest using the glyph of Incinerate instead of Felguard, and using Searing Pain and Shadowflame a lot more often than I anticipated. I'll keep an eye on the situation and update the guide as needed, but we may be in a situation where warlocks generally want to stand close if they can so they can Shadowflame on cooldown.

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Tamarantha

Joined: Sun Aug 30, 2009 7:07 pm
Posts: 93
 Post subject: Re: Demonology in Cata
PostPosted: Tue Oct 12, 2010 12:16 pm 
ALSO! There is no more Misery, Heroic Presence, or Improved Faerie Fire! 13% hit rating is no longer sufficient! I'll let you know the new hit numbers when I can log on.


EDIT: 449 hit rating is the number we need at level 80.

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Tamarantha

Joined: Sun Aug 30, 2009 7:07 pm
Posts: 93
 Post subject: Re: Demonology in Cata
PostPosted: Thu Oct 14, 2010 1:12 pm 
Trying to keep abreast of the changes - the guide should be up to date now. Damn King's Ambers :(

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