Hope for the Future?

In my last post I practically ranted about my guild’s performance in heroics and what a difference swapping out one person and gaining 1k DPS made in our success.

And the heavens opened and a light shone through. Or something like that. I got a comment from a reader!

I don’t presume to know you guys, or you for that matter, but I’ve been following your blog as a fellow WOWer (Hunter on Windrunner) and I think you need to do some research for your friend. It probably just comes down to some tweaks to her rotations. Warlocks can do close to as much damage as your Mage, and more than a DK. Maybe you should step in and help her do the research. Seems like a better plan than letting her fall by the way. But, that’s just an outsider perspective. Thanks for the interesting blog!

First off, thank you, chigatana, for validating my existance.

Secondly, you’re right. We have no intention of letting her fall by the wayside, but we don’t know how to help her. I was a bit peeved when I wrote the post so it probably did sound like I was ready to toss her to the curb, my bad. Friends don’t let friends fail at WoW. Right?

So I need help.

I did take her to a training dummy and had her do some rotations. This was back when she was barely cracking 500 DPS as an 80. We got a few things figured out and she got up to the 1k where she’s plateaued at now.

A few of us tried rolling warlocks to get a feel for it, maybe figure out something we could pass along. I had hopes of getting a ‘lock high enough to be my bank bitch, complete with succubus in tow at the auction house. But we all get up to getting the imp, maybe the voidwalker and we all go, “Blech.” None of us in the guild have any interest in progressing a warlock.

I am not calling out hate on the warlocks here, far from it, just none of us feel a fit with the character. My husband plays a rogue. I can’t imagine him playing anything else. He even plays a rogue 90% of the time when we roll old-school and pull out the tabletop D&D. Yes, the rolling pun was intended. I developed an odd affinity for my mage. I luvs him. Our DK is having a blast. There has to be a connection to the character for us to have fun.

Lacking the ambition to actually play a warlock, maybe reading about one wouldn’t be so bad.

Are there no warlocks out there offering up their recent experiences and bits of wisdom condensed into something I can understand?

I look at a mage website or thread and I have a clue. I can look at the date and judge how much of the information is still viable based on past changes. I can get a feel for the information and tell if the author is smoking crack.

I look at a warlock website or thread and start to feel my soul draining away from me, and not in a “being sucked into a soul shard” sort of way. I try reading the patch notes and they go right over my head. Was that a nerf or a buff? I have no idea. The official forums tend to be full of QQ and armory trashing, not so much useful information.

Here’s what I have to work with, hopefully someone plays a warlock and takes pity. Or they know someone whose cousin’s girlfriend’s dog groomer plays a warlock. Something. We’ve sent her to the warlock section of Raider101, but we need even more basic than that. If anyone can offer any suggestions for any of our issues, it would be greatly appreciated. Blogs, forums, personal experience, an armory link to someone cool, whatever.

The scene:

  • As far as I know, WoW is her first game in this genre. She was there for the birth of Pong and was a whiz at Zork, but this is her first foray into a game that requires real time movement and strategy.
  • She uses a track ball. This is an item of no discussion. Due to joint issues, a normal mouse is a no-go.
  • I don’t know her exact system specs, but lag does not seem to be a major concern.
  • We do use Vent to communicate.
  • Her professions are alchemy (flask spec) and herbalism. She always has a flask and a food buff.
  • She is very drawn to the Affliction tree. We’ve suggested trying other trees, but this seems to be her calling. Powerful logic and the allure of more damage may sway her.
  • She’s done some research on rotations and minion selection. I don’t know much about her rotation, but she’s got the fel puppy out when she groups with us.
  • Movement. I believe some of this can be blamed on the track ball. Falling off cliffs, turning to face targets, stacking on the tank, moving out of the fire – all issues. Are there any track ball users out there that can share some tips?
  • Targeting. I’m using X-Perl, which lets me see the targets of my party members. I can watch half the fight go by and she hasn’t targeted anything or popped an AoE that does not require a target. As a ranged caster myself, I’m also usually standing right next to her and can see that she’s not casting anything (I don’t trust X-Perl entirely). Our tank politely waits for the group to respond before every pull, so she should be ready to do something. We’ve discussed the “assist” feature, and she says she’s using it. Sometimes. When she does target, it’s frequently out of the marked kill order. We’ve been using skull and X as kill first and kill second for about a year now…
  • Aiming. Getting an AoE centered on the fight is a problem; it usually ends up touching the edge of the fight but mostly raining fire on me and the healer. We’ve discussed camera angles and centering the green target circle over the paladin’s Consecration effect. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. Has anyone else had this problem and fixed it?
  • She’s just now getting into macros. Does anyone have anything useful to recommend?
  • Realistic expectations. I’ve heard that affliction warlocks can be absolute beasts in the raiding environment. 5k DPS and other amazing numbers get thrown around. That’s nice, but that’s hardly a benchmark we can show her. What can we realistically expect from a level 80 affliction warlock in a heroic with decent gear (blues and some purples)? Is the 2k mark out of reach?

This is someone that wants to get better and wants to participate at a higher level. She’s also a real sweetheart and we want to help her. Help me help her, please.

5 comments on “Hope for the Future?

  1. chigatana says:

    I am supremely flattered that you quoted me. Glad I could help out in my own little way. So, here’s the thing with looking for help. There are tons of sites out there that will just say, here’s the latest spec, use it. Have you ever read anything from Elitist Jerks? I know, the name says a lot. But they have some FANTASTIC info. When I wanted to be the best Druid Bear tank, they taught me how. When I switched to my Hunter, I read them again. http://elitistjerks.com/f80/ is for everything Warlock. It’s a lot of reading, though. Start with PVE Spec Discussion and Affliction Raiding Rotations/Guide. That will get your friend most of the way, I think. Of course, I can’t get my warlock to succubus land… I know the feeling.

  2. Rurjaos says:

    Late comment, but btn., isn’t it?
    Got almost the same issues with my girlfriend.
    affli-lock by desire

    theorycrafting…check
    communication…check
    5m-Heroic Gear … check
    enchants…check
    gems….check
    movements … check
    targetting…check
    dps……(almost) fail.
    around 1..2k
    but as a RL-friend-guild-leader I’m not alowed to qq.
    As her personel tank I have to protect her, from mobs and apparently from other players complaining about her DPS.
    No 5-man boss enrages, so if tank and heal are decent, DPS doesn’t matter.
    Problems rise, if you switch to raid-content. But if movement and targeting are ok, a surviving 1.2k dps is better than a dead 3.5k freak… there are 5-20 others to compensate the lack.

    By the way: 5man, even heroics aren’t affli-lock-hunting-areas!
    Btw2: great blog… still “burning” through

  3. Millea on Bloodhoof says:

    Found your blog from your post that got linked by wow.com and thought I would read the archives. As an affliction lock I hope I can help a bit (although it might be a tad bit too late down the road, but I haven’t progressed further in the archives yet).

    Her rotation should be:

    Shadow bolt, Haunt, Unstable Affliction, Curse of Agony, Corruption, then Shadow bolt spam until she needs to reapply the dots. If she keeps Haunt up she wont have to refresh Corruption.

    She is going the correct route with the felpuppy out since he does better dps than the imp. The succy does the best outside of the felguard and doomguard, but can be a pain to control so her best bet is the felpuppy.

    I can’t help with the trackball issue, but if she has to use it then she needs to work on getting the mechanics down.

    Her spec might be off, and her gear could be all wrong too. She might not even be hit capped, or even have the wrong stats on her gear.

    I hope that the little bit I was able to impart helps!

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