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Looking for any advice for Demonology warlocks

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Looking for any advice for Demonology warlocks

Postby Hespherus » Tue Apr 24, 2012 7:17 am

As the title says, im searching for some advice on how to be a better Demo warlock. Since progress is over on my tankadin i decided to switch to the hardest class to play atm(or so they say).

Ive been trying to find what the general consensus would be on Haste vs Mastery, but i really wasnt able to, even though im more likely to get at least enough haste for an extra Immo tick at 385 ilvl.

There are a lot of buttons to push at the beginning of the fight so if anyone has any helpful macros, i would appreciate it. I understand there arent that many warlocks around and most probably even less wandering these forums, but its worth a shot.

Do you use any addons to better keep track of dots on multi target fight? How viable is the incinerate spec? Also any power aura strings to be able to see when the Lightweave Embroddery procs, and anything else that you guys can find useful.

Thanks in advance
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Re: Looking for any advice for Demonology warlocks

Postby Cogglamp » Wed Apr 25, 2012 12:43 pm

I'm not pro but I've been playing my demo lock lately. I don't use any macros other than my engineering glove tinker and modifier macros for move keybinds.

The incinerate spec is definitely viable. Most top end demo locks are using incinerate as their filler instead of shadow bolt. With shadow bolt out of the way, it does become a little easier I will readily admit. Though, you need to see if you have that 5% crit debuff coming from other sources. Keeping track of the debuff isn't too hard though.

Elv's version of Tukui is pretty easy to keep track of multi target DoT fights. Though, you'll begin to have a countdown in your head when stuff is needed to be refreshed.

I can work on a PA string when I get home for Lightweave Embroidery. Other useful PA strings like DMC: Volcano, Insignia of the Corrupted Mind, etc are certainly useful and you can just edit the Lightweave Embroidery string after you copy it farily easily.

I find demo to be great for DS as you have moments where on demand burst is needed and you have that in the form of Meta/Demon Soul/Doomguard. I have major problems with Aff in DS. I don't know why. I know theckhd is really knowledgeable about Affliction if you ever decide to go that route. As much as I love Aff, I can't master it and it takes quite a bit of finesse to do so.
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Re: Looking for any advice for Demonology warlocks

Postby Rhiannon » Wed Apr 25, 2012 3:41 pm

Depends on your definition of hard, I wouldn't call it hard as much as fiddly, especially if you're using moonwell chalice in your main gear set. There are some gimmicks that'll boost your dps significantly if you have the right conditions, namely access to a second set of gear that you can stack mastery in, moonwell chalice, and a raid group that does proper countdowns pre-pull. I guess as it's 385 ilevel you've probably not raided on it enough to have the extra gear to make a complete set, but for example what I do is >30 seconds before the pull I switch to my mastery stacked gear set (moonwell chalice, all gear switched to higher mastery pieces where possible with full mastery gems - excluding pieces where switching gear triggers an icd). This gear set has about 3.4k mastery, 5.1k with chalice active. During the countdown before the pull I pop chalice, use a macro to equip Fire of the Deep (due to the behaviour described in this post and pop meta (with 5.6k mastery), pre-pot and switch to my regular gear set, and then combat starts. I lose a second or two of meta depending on how safe I want to play it (getting stuck in a gear set with multiple strength pieces fully gemmed with mastery because you tried to cut it too fine is quite embarassing), but first meta with 5k mastery rather than 2k makes it worth it.

Doomguard's still a very powerful cooldown for you so unless a fight dictates using it at some particular point, use it as soon as you've got most of your procs up. It does scale with haste from gear (but not external haste buffs, heroism or 5% raid buff) so if you're using a haste proc trinket make sure you time it with that (this is the reason why insignia of the corrupted mind knocks will of unbinding off the bis list for demo). If you've got 4p t13 time it with that as well of course.

Try to make sure to get extra meta-buffed doom ticks where possible. So with your first bane of doom, don't refresh it, let it get all its ticks out and put it back up as soon as it's fallen off. If you refresh it just before the fourth tick, you won't lose a tick, but the fourth tick will be calculated based on your buffs when you refreshed it, so no meta, no demon soul, etc. Similarly if you've got a non-meta doom up and meta comes back up, refresh doom before it ticks again.

Incinerate spec is generally the way forward, though I still actually take bane a lot of the time due to the number of multi-dot fights and I'm too lazy to respec on a fight to fight basis during farm.

My pull sequence, after the mastery gear swapping described above, is: incinerate to get 5% spell crit debuff up asap (pre-casting in the last second of countdown - shadowbolt would be slightly more optimal despite it's longer cast time if you're not doing a pre-combat meta, might even be with pre-combat meta but I'm used to this) -> elements (skip these steps if your raid has them covered by others) -> immolate -> soulburn + demon soul + racial -> hand of guldan (pet crit debuff asap) -> bane of doom + felstorm -> corruption -> immo aura -> doomguard -> shadowflame -> incinerate (felstorm should end here) -> summon felpup -> continue with regular priority. Not sure it's 100% optimal but it's so ingrained in muscle memory by now that I'd need to see a significantly superior starting order to bother changing anything. If trinket doesn't proc I'll delay certain things though.
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Re: Looking for any advice for Demonology warlocks

Postby Hespherus » Thu Apr 26, 2012 1:48 am

Cogglamp wrote:I'm not pro but I've been playing my demo lock lately. I don't use any macros other than my engineering glove tinker and modifier macros for move keybinds.

The incinerate spec is definitely viable. Most top end demo locks are using incinerate as their filler instead of shadow bolt. With shadow bolt out of the way, it does become a little easier I will readily admit. Though, you need to see if you have that 5% crit debuff coming from other sources. Keeping track of the debuff isn't too hard though.

Elv's version of Tukui is pretty easy to keep track of multi target DoT fights. Though, you'll begin to have a countdown in your head when stuff is needed to be refreshed.

I can work on a PA string when I get home for Lightweave Embroidery. Other useful PA strings like DMC: Volcano, Insignia of the Corrupted Mind, etc are certainly useful and you can just edit the Lightweave Embroidery string after you copy it farily easily.

I find demo to be great for DS as you have moments where on demand burst is needed and you have that in the form of Meta/Demon Soul/Doomguard. I have major problems with Aff in DS. I don't know why. I know theckhd is really knowledgeable about Affliction if you ever decide to go that route. As much as I love Aff, I can't master it and it takes quite a bit of finesse to do so.

I would really appreciate the PA strings. It would make it easier to keep track of things, and to know when to pop my doomguard optimally.

Affliction does seem a bit easier to play than Demo, even though i havent tried it yet, but Demo is more appealing to me.
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Re: Looking for any advice for Demonology warlocks

Postby Hespherus » Thu Apr 26, 2012 2:03 am

Rhiannon wrote:Depends on your definition of hard, I wouldn't call it hard as much as fiddly, especially if you're using moonwell chalice in your main gear set. There are some gimmicks that'll boost your dps significantly if you have the right conditions, namely access to a second set of gear that you can stack mastery in, moonwell chalice, and a raid group that does proper countdowns pre-pull. I guess as it's 385 ilevel you've probably not raided on it enough to have the extra gear to make a complete set, but for example what I do is >30 seconds before the pull I switch to my mastery stacked gear set (moonwell chalice, all gear switched to higher mastery pieces where possible with full mastery gems - excluding pieces where switching gear triggers an icd). This gear set has about 3.4k mastery, 5.1k with chalice active. During the countdown before the pull I pop chalice, use a macro to equip Fire of the Deep (due to the behaviour described in this post and pop meta (with 5.6k mastery), pre-pot and switch to my regular gear set, and then combat starts. I lose a second or two of meta depending on how safe I want to play it (getting stuck in a gear set with multiple strength pieces fully gemmed with mastery because you tried to cut it too fine is quite embarassing), but first meta with 5k mastery rather than 2k makes it worth it.

Doomguard's still a very powerful cooldown for you so unless a fight dictates using it at some particular point, use it as soon as you've got most of your procs up. It does scale with haste from gear (but not external haste buffs, heroism or 5% raid buff) so if you're using a haste proc trinket make sure you time it with that (this is the reason why insignia of the corrupted mind knocks will of unbinding off the bis list for demo). If you've got 4p t13 time it with that as well of course.

Try to make sure to get extra meta-buffed doom ticks where possible. So with your first bane of doom, don't refresh it, let it get all its ticks out and put it back up as soon as it's fallen off. If you refresh it just before the fourth tick, you won't lose a tick, but the fourth tick will be calculated based on your buffs when you refreshed it, so no meta, no demon soul, etc. Similarly if you've got a non-meta doom up and meta comes back up, refresh doom before it ticks again.

Incinerate spec is generally the way forward, though I still actually take bane a lot of the time due to the number of multi-dot fights and I'm too lazy to respec on a fight to fight basis during farm.

My pull sequence, after the mastery gear swapping described above, is: incinerate to get 5% spell crit debuff up asap (pre-casting in the last second of countdown - shadowbolt would be slightly more optimal despite it's longer cast time if you're not doing a pre-combat meta, might even be with pre-combat meta but I'm used to this) -> elements (skip these steps if your raid has them covered by others) -> immolate -> soulburn + demon soul + racial -> hand of guldan (pet crit debuff asap) -> bane of doom + felstorm -> corruption -> immo aura -> doomguard -> shadowflame -> incinerate (felstorm should end here) -> summon felpup -> continue with regular priority. Not sure it's 100% optimal but it's so ingrained in muscle memory by now that I'd need to see a significantly superior starting order to bother changing anything. If trinket doesn't proc I'll delay certain things though.

Unfortunately i dont have MWC, and most probably wont grind to get it, already have WoU and i think its a matter of time till i will get ICM. But i will definately keep in mind the mastery gear swap, even if will take some time to be able to get that much gear.

I really thought, ICM wasnt that good for demo, i mean should CoC+WoU be the way to go? Also, seeing that the hast from ICM is that good, would Ti´thak be better than lighting rod? I mean its likely to proc in the beginning of the fight with ICM.
Also, wouldnt Immo after demon sould would be a dps increase? DoT damage only updates with debuffs on the target, not with the buffs you get, unless you clip them ofc.

My "original" warlock´s name is Mòardóts, on EU, in case someone can take a look and see anything off. Im gonna post a link later(at work atm). I was full mastery reforged, but after reading some more i got 1573+ haste for the extra immo tick, wondering if its worth it. My dps in dungeons atm, especially on trash seems lower...i will need to test it this week in DS.
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Re: Looking for any advice for Demonology warlocks

Postby Rhiannon » Thu Apr 26, 2012 4:06 am

With my haste, a doomguard cast with IotCM casts 32 doombolts vs 27 for one without. How significant that is for you depends on the fight length, the shorter the length the bigger the % of your damage those extra casts represent. Likewise in some fight lengths (such as Morchok kill from last night without heroism the fight will end shortly after a proc ends, meaning you get much higher uptime than the ~16% average uptime it would have. Conversely sometimes your fight will end just before it procs again, giving you only about 16% uptime. Also with the initial burst being so critical for demo damage, WoU's stacking means it won't be at full stacks, meaning your doomguard, first bane of doom, immo aura might well not be cast with full stacks, and if you do wait for full stacks some other buff (4p t13 specifically) might fall off or you might lose a tick of bane of doom overall. Again, the impact of this diminishes, the longer your fight time is. Demo's also a fairly RNG spec dependent on Impending Doom procs, and 3.3k haste for 20 seconds does have a noticeable impact on the rate at which you get your next meta. Again, due to RNG you might get an awesome proc rate without the haste trinket but it helps with RNG a bit. e.g. to get a decent rank on Ultraxion you have to get 3 full metas off in a sub 3:30ish kill, which is a lot less likely to happen without the 40 seconds of extra haste.

WoU's still a good trinket but simcraft suggests IotCM is better and my personal experience with both agrees in the best case for IotCM. On some fight lengths WoU may well be better though.

Ti'tahk's haste proc is about half of Insignia's, and the proc is fairly underbudget compared to the stats on a real weapon so I'm not sure about how good it is.

Hand of Guldan refreshes immolate and so applies all the buffs on it, so all you lose is the buffed damage of the immolate application in exchange for another incinerate.

Edit: looking at your character, ignoring the obvious stuff that's tedious/expensive to fix for alts (rep enchants, profession enchants) it looks alright. Enchanting gloves/15 stats on chest shouldn't be particularly expensive though. You could throw your character through wowreforge to get rid of that little bit of wasted hit I imagine, not that it's a big deal. I guess you've got tit'ahk on as you were testing the haste thing. The question of why simcraft suggests the immolate breakpoint at 1573 is worth going for has been raised in the EJ demo thread, and I don't think a convincing answer has been brought up. HoG refreshing immolate ought to make its breakpoints pretty much irrelevant for single target, as the breakpoint doesn't save you any gcds that you could use for something else, but for some reason simcraft suggests it's worth going for. For multi target the breakpoint is definitely worth getting though, as long as the targets are going to live long enough. As you're using foul gift of the demon lord I assume you're waiting for it to proc before popping meta/dg.
Last edited by Rhiannon on Thu Apr 26, 2012 9:08 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Looking for any advice for Demonology warlocks

Postby Cogglamp » Thu Apr 26, 2012 6:56 am

I'll work on getting you some PM strings soon.

Otherwise, just ignore what I say and listen to Rhiannon. :)
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Re: Looking for any advice for Demonology warlocks

Postby Gab » Thu Apr 26, 2012 10:33 am

Rhiannon wrote:Try to make sure to get extra meta-buffed doom ticks where possible. So with your first bane of doom, don't refresh it, let it get all its ticks out and put it back up as soon as it's fallen off. If you refresh it just before the fourth tick, you won't lose a tick, but the fourth tick will be calculated based on your buffs when you refreshed it, so no meta, no demon soul, etc. Similarly if you've got a non-meta doom up and meta comes back up, refresh doom before it ticks again.


I don't play any "dot classes", but I was under the impression that dots were calculated per tick @ current stats. Is that not the case? Maybe I'm just not understanding.

Saw something similar on Icy Veins (pretty much the only wow site other than MTadin that isn't blocked at work) spriest guide.

Vlad wrote:This raises the question of when and how it is best to refresh your DoTs. For example, is it worth refreshing a weak DoT (that still has more than a few seconds on its duration) simply because you gained extra buffs? To answer this question, you also have to understand what DoT clipping is.


Again I thought they changed this at some point to each tick taking into account current stats. Thinking about dabbling with shadow on my priest since I have never played a caster at max level.
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Re: Looking for any advice for Demonology warlocks

Postby Cogglamp » Thu Apr 26, 2012 12:30 pm

Please correct me if I'm wrong here but I understand DoTs as the following:

DoTs update all player based values upon cast or refresh. (haste, spell power, crit, etc) which is what Rhia was explaining in his meta-mastery-up-the-wazoo example.

So when you get a Power Torrent proc, Velocity proc (IotCM trinket), Volcanic Destruction proc (DMC: V trinket), you can refresh your DoTs and take advantage of the increased stats. Really good players will be able to increase the life of the proc by recasting the DoT twice under the same proc.

Pets act similarly in that they take a snapshot of your values and remain static during their duration save for hero being cast while they are already out. Spriests will try to time their Shadowfiends being out just prior to hero/lust being cast to maximize the number of swings from their Sfiend. That's especially important when you have 4pc T13 as a shadowpriest.

DoTs update all enemy based values every tick (debuffs like Haunt, Curse of Elements, Shadow Embrace, etc).
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Re: Looking for any advice for Demonology warlocks

Postby Gab » Thu Apr 26, 2012 1:27 pm

I just remembered at some point in WotLk Unholy DKs would apply dots at the begining of fights with all kinds of procs/buffs and they would remain at that power through the entire fight as long as they were refreshed. I thought that it was changed to checking player stats per tick but I guess I'm confusing that with the target's debuffs.

So dots are calculated at time of cast and remain at that level until refreshed or reapplied at which point they will be recalculated?
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Re: Looking for any advice for Demonology warlocks

Postby bldavis » Thu Apr 26, 2012 1:33 pm

i thought dots (for the msot part) were based off the caster stats when cast and updated when refreshed

idk for sure though

i know pets are like that
(ie why an UH dk should wait for procs to summon gargoyle and a spriest waits for shadowfiend)
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Re: Looking for any advice for Demonology warlocks

Postby Cogglamp » Thu Apr 26, 2012 1:34 pm

I can't comment on physical/melee based toons. I know there was (maybe still is) a bug with Diseases that were spread via Pestilence producing more damage than it should have.

Also, I'm just guessing here on what you're talking about: maybe that was through Festering Strike and not a hard recast? No clue though.
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Re: Looking for any advice for Demonology warlocks

Postby bldavis » Thu Apr 26, 2012 1:39 pm

im pretty sure bleeds will update depending on procs and such
(cats, rogues, warriors)

im not sure about diseases, and i think poisons do the same (i think...i dont remember if DP is a dot or not...>.>)
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Brekkie:Tanks are like shitty DPS. And healers are like REALLY distracted DPS
Amirya:Why yes, your penis is longer than his because you hit 30k dps in the first 10 seconds. But guess what? That raid boss has a dick bigger than your ego.
Flex:I don't make mistakes. I execute carefully planned strategic group wipes.
Levie:(in /g) It's weird, I have a collar and I dont know where I got it from, Worgen are kinky!
Levie:Drunk Lev goes and does what he pleases just to annoy sober Lev.
Sagara:You see, you need to *spread* the bun before you insert the hot dog.
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Re: Looking for any advice for Demonology warlocks

Postby Rhiannon » Thu Apr 26, 2012 1:45 pm

No. Rip ticks will retain TF after TF has fallen off, unless you refresh it (either with a new rip or with FB). It's easy enough to test on a dummy - put a rip up, drop combat and take your gear off. The rip ticks will still tick for the same.

Poisons, seals etc get refreshed automatically with your attacks so there's no point trying to roll buffs on them. Likewise buffs affecting rend are applied with every MS, so trying to get a super buffed rend is pointless. Same with serpent sting, as it gets refreshed with every cobra.
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Re: Looking for any advice for Demonology warlocks

Postby Cogglamp » Thu Apr 26, 2012 1:53 pm

Rhiannon wrote:Poisons, seals etc get refreshed automatically with your attacks so there's no point trying to roll buffs on them. Likewise buffs affecting rend are applied with every MS, so trying to get a super buffed rend is pointless. Same with serpent sting, as it gets refreshed with every cobra.


There's quite a few examples like this due to filler spells refreshing one of the DoTs. SW:P/Mind Flay, Haunt/Corruption, Immolate/Hand of Guldan.

From a newb perspective, it makes DoT classes a little more manageable but there is still a wide gulf between elite players and yeomen like myself.
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